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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

FIRST HALF OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY 349

and he instances mathematics as a subject with which this is
specially apt to happen. This difficulty led to the working out
of a method for correlating the various school subjects, as we shall
see when we come to deal with the later developments of the
Herbartian doctrines.

4, IDEALISM AND EDUCATION

All the while Herbart, by a curious anomaly, was developing
an individualistic system of education under the auspices of the
State, certain of those idealists with whom he was at philosophical
enmity were engaged thinking out the problems of education from
an opposite but complementary point of view. The main point
at issue between them concerned the value to be put on indivi-
duality. For Herbart, individuality was the supreme consideration.
The morality which he made the end of educational endeavour
was the perfection of individual character, and so, like Locke,
Rousseau and Kant, he regarded the private education that can
take account of the individual pupil as superior to the public
education that has to deal with pupils in the mass. The idealists,
on the contrary, did not consider individuality as of any special
consequence except in so far as it could be realized in subordination
to higher spiritual ends, and more especially to those of the State,
and consequently viewed a school training for citizenship not as
an incident of education but, as part of its very essence.

The idealistic view found its most extreme expression in Fichte's
scheme for a community of children receiving an education for
the service of the State out of contact with home life. But this
scheme was open to precisely the same objection as the Platonic
Republic which Fichte had probably in mind in framing it. It
sought to create the ideal by setting aside the actual conditions
of life. His successors, more faithful to the spirit of idealism,
made no attempt to follow him in this, but sought an education
for social ends inside the ordinary relationships of society. This,
we shall see, is common ground for Hegel alid Froebel, the two
men who in different ways represent this important phase of
educational thought.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), though engaged
for six years as a private tutor and subsequently for eight years